22 December 1922 diary of Dr John Stewart Muir (1845-1938) of Selkirk

Pretty severe Sou’ Wester. Motored to Hospital +c Heather Mill, Forest Road. Gave Chlor[oform] for 2 cases at Viewfield a hernia + a mamma. Left at 1.50 + went straight to Henderland. Very rough at the Loch.1 Found Jas. Mitchell rather better.2 Tibby3 gave him a hypo of Morph. last night. Young Jas.4 has gravel.5 Came back by Newarkburn.6 Sent off a lot of my [word deleted] addressed post cards as Christmas cards, some as letters + some as P.C.s. Got Xmas cards for Dees7, Julia8, Clark Coupers9 + Jack Spittal.10 Helen11 went to an entertainment by H.S. pupils in the Picture House.12

1 Henderland, Megget, grid reference NGR NT232,233. Dr Muir has presumably driven along the northern edge of St Mary’s Loch where the road is close to the water.

2 James Mitchell, senior (about 1854-1929), farmer at Henderland, Megget. In the 1921 Census the family comprised James Mitchell senior aet 67, James Mitchell junior, 35, Mary Richardson Mitchell, 33, Eliza Dalgleish Mitchell, 25, and Isabella Shiel Mitchell, 26.

3 Eliza Dalgleish ‘Tibby’ Mitchell (1896-1966), born Megget, daughter of James Mitchell senior (about 1854-1929), farmer, and Helen Mitchell née Mitchell, married, 1883, At Henderland, Megget, 1921 Census.

4 James Mitchell, junior (1886-1951), born Ettrick. farmer, son of James Mitchell senior (about 1854-), farmer, and Helen Mitchell née Mitchell, married, 1883, At Henderland, Megget, 1921 Census.

5 Gravel is small concretions of uric acid, calcium oxalate or phosphates, formed in the kidney and passed through the ureter, bladder and urethra.

6 Dr Muir had been visiting Shepherd’s House, Newarkburn, Selkirk to attend John McMillan Barrie (1914-1932), one of a pair of twins born 7 June 1914 at Fauldshope, sons of Alexander Barrie, shepherd, and Jessie Barrie née McMillan.

7 Robert Irwin Dees (1872-1923), landed proprietor, formerly a marine engineer, Edith Mary Boileau Dees née Henderson and their family who had moved to Faldonside, Galashiels after the First World War.

8 The Editor speculates that this refers to Mary Julia Ballard (1862-1935), daughter of George Alexander Ballard, Madras Civil Servant, and Julia Mary Ballard née Anderson, whose mother had died 11 July 1922 at Philipburn, Selkirk.

9 The Clark Coupers are Christina Jane Couper née Clark (c.1850-1925) – whose maternal grandfather was Thomas Clark (c.1801-1865), law book seller (1851 Census), later publisher and founder of T & T Clark of Edinburgh – and her daughters Evelyn Susannah Couper, sometime Clark Couper (1872-1927) and Edith Hylda Hope Clark Couper (1878-1930). The family was at Thornfield, Selkirk in the 1911 Census and at Orchardmains House, Innerleithen [Traquair] with two servants in the 1921 Census.

10 John Kerr ‘Jack’ Spittal (1883-1946), accountant, son of Charles Grey Spittal (1836-1891) and Rachel Spittal née Harvey (1845-1917). He had married March 1918 at Hanover Parish, Jamaica, Alice Barbara Findlay (1894-1970).

11 Helen Frances ‘Mousey’ Muir (1880-1963), Dr Muir’s third daughter and sometime housekeeper.

12 This would be Selkirk Picture House but the event is so far unidentified.

[Source: Scottish Borders Archives & Local History Service SBA/657/25, Dr J S Muir of Selkirk, medical practitioner, journal for 1922]

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Archivist, interests include Dr John Stewart Muir 1845-1938) of Selkirk, general practitioner, and Seton Paul Gordon (1886–1977), naturalist, author and photographer

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